MORE INTERVIEWS: CIMB Classic transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: We want to thank Jason Dufner for stopping by the interview room here at the CIMB Classic. It's Jason's second trip here to Malaysia. A big season for you this year, two PGA TOUR wins, moved into the Top 10 in the World Golf Ranking. Just talk about the year as a whole, and then we'll follow that up with a few comments about coming back to Malaysia.
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, definitely. The season has been off to a good start. Well, almost ending the season now, but pretty happy with how the season went. Picked up my first win at the ZURICH Classic in New Orleans, and then a couple weeks later was able to win at the Byron Nelson in Dallas.
Then my best season so far to date, a couple of wins, played in the Ryder Cup, so a lot of solid golf. Some close calls here and there, and looking forward to coming back here to Malaysia to play in the CIMB Classic. This is a great place to play. The fans are very supportive of us coming over here and playing, always get good crowds.
We have a great field here this week. Lot of top quality players playing in the event. So it should be some good tournament golf out there, I think.
THE MODERATOR: Could you talk about your experience here in the past and what you liked about the area??
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, last year I came over for the first time, was intrigued about coming over and playing in Asia and Malaysia. So I came over and the wife and I both enjoyed being over here, had some great food, enjoyed the city, the culture of Malaysia, the people of Malaysia. The golf course is fantastic. I think it gives you a good mix of different holes, different shots that you have to hit out there. Obviously the field is very strong each year in this event. So it's a nice little spot to come and play this time of year for us to get over and experience the golf over here and give the fans of golf here in Malaysia a chance to see some of the best players in the world.
Q. Could you analyze at this time any difficulty or how do you find the course for this time??
JASON DUFNER: It's very similar to last year. I found that the golf course hasn't changed very much. You've got a good mix of holes, like I said. So it tests all the clubs in your bag. You have to hit different tee shots, different iron shots, short clubs, long clubs.
The grass here seems to be consistent with Bermudagrass like we see in the States. That's something I'm very familiar with. So I think it's a pretty good challenge. Obviously, the heat and humidity can get to us a little bit. We're not quite used to the temperatures and the humidity that we get here in Malaysia, so that could be a bit of a factor as far as endurance goes and just how you feel throughout the week. But nothing seems to have changed too much from last year.
Q. I know you play with Tiger on the PGA TOUR and that's kind of standard. We don't really get him out here very often. How does having a player of his caliber playing in a tournament out here change the complexion of the tournament week??
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I think it's a great thing for this event and for the country of Malaysia to have a player of Tiger's caliber come and fit this event into his schedule.
I think as players we appreciate it because it makes the field and the event attract a little bit more media. You get some more spectators out here. He tends to pull in the spectators. A lot of people want to see him play some golf. They haven't had a chance, I believe, since 1999 since he's been to Malaysia to play golf.
So for him to find this event and put it on his schedule, I think really brings a lot to this event and makes you want to be part of this event as a player. There is no doubt about it when Tiger is in the field, it just makes the event better overall. You get a lot more attention. The media really, really picks up, and like I said, spectators really want to come out and watch him.
Hopefully some of those will catch on to your game, so to speak, and follow you a little bit and maybe give you a little bit more exposure. I think it just adds to how great of an event this was before, and adding him to the field really just brings it to almost a global standpoint that people are going to be watching this week where Tiger Woods is playing.
Q. What is the most important thing for you to achieve at this end of the season? Are you already looking forward to next year, or are there things that you're working on now that you need to make amends for for the season that's been?
JASON DUFNER: Probably a little bit of both. I think the way the game has gone globally right now, it's hard to have an off?season to be honest with you. There are a lot of great events right up from when we finish in the States to when we start in the States. So I try to pick a couple of events here and there, different locations. Obviously I came back here because I enjoyed it so much from last year.
But I think there are some things that I would like to accomplish this year. Obviously, a win here would be very nice. I had a close call last week in Perth. You know, about a month ago, lost in the Ryder Cup, so I've still got some things that I feel that I could turn around this season a little bit, and maybe feel a little bit better about my game.
I enjoy playing this time of year because it just kind of transfers over into next year. I don't feel like I had a long period of no competitive golf. It keeps my mind sharp, my body sharp, my competitive mode sharp. So I think you mix both of what you were talking about into one of these events. I've got another one next week in China, so it will be much of the same that week too.
Q. I noticed in one of your routines you waggle your club a lot. Are you doing that from the beginning of playing or is that just recently??
JASON DUFNER: As far as I can remember I've always done it since I've played golf. There is no conscious thought about it. It's not like a preshot routine or a feeling that I'm trying to get in my golf swing. It's completely subconscious. I'm not really, to be honest with you, sure how it started or where it came about. But I've always done it. I couldn't tell you how many times I do it.
I think I've been told that it varies from shot to shot how many times it happens. But it's a whole feel thing of just feeling comfortable, I guess, and getting ready to hit that shot. But there is no conscious effort to do it.
Q. It seems last year I watched you here and I was talking to your future wife last year. Seems like last year you've exploded on the PGA and you're a big guy on the PGA. Is there any particular incident or improvement that you've made to your game that made you now??
JASON DUFNER: I think a couple things happened. At the end of last year I was close to winning a major in the United States, the US PGA lost that in the playoff. After that that gave me a lot of confidence to go out and play well no matter what the events were, if they were majors or global events or just PGA TOUR events. So I think that close call gave me a lot of confidence in myself and in my game.
From a physical standpoint, I feel like I've really worked hard on my golf game. I've been very consistent with my practice, same focus on what I'm trying to get better at now for about four and a half years. Same with the preparation. I'm diligent about having the same routine for about four years now. And being consistent with that practice and that preparation has given me a lot of confidence that when I show up at events, I feel like I'm going to play good week?in and week?out no matter where I might be playing that week.